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SEPTEMBER 19-21

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Oh boy, oh boy! People wait all year for this “Woodstock of comics, without the music,” and here it is. The Small Press Expo is back for its fourth year, having expanded from a one-day artists’ exhibition to a big, swanky weekend trade show. Some 160 artists and exhibitors will be selling, signing, and strutting their stuff, including Steven Weissman of Yikes! (pictured). There are special events galore: on Friday a “Chalk Talk” with Jeff Smith of Bone, portfolio reviews by artists who’ll look at your unpublished stuff, a lecture from Mike Diana, first cartoonist to be convicted for obscenity in the U.S., and an Expo party. Saturday is the “International Comics and Animation Festival,” an auction, and the first-ever Ignatz Award presentations, followed by a gala. On Sunday, wind down with any number of useful panels during the “Small Press Summit.” The Washington area is lucky to host this entertaining and informative pencilfest—plus, it’s a bargain. From 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at the Quality Hotel, 8727 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. $5 (proceeds benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund). (301) 654-6856. (Arion Berger)